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this is, the number of people i've seen this morning one way or another, merchants or service people or whatever saying, please pass health care reform, i'm paying $1,000 a month. . . families, businesses or the federal government. so this has to take place.
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the fact is also as long as people are discriminated against because they have a pre-existing condition or policies are canceled because they get sick or their procedure is denied on the way to the operating room, as long as people go bankrupt, if they have a diagnosis, we must pass this legislation. and we must take whatever time it takes to do it. some things we can do on the side which may not fit into a bigger plan. that doesn't mean that's a substitute for doing comprehensive. it means we will move on many fronts -- any front we can. as i said to some friends yesterday in the press we go through the gate, the gates closed, we'll go over the fence, well para chute in but we are going to get health care reform passed for the american people
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for their own economic health and security and for the important goal it will play in reducing the deficit. you want to take the last question and then i want to say one other thing. we'll take two then. this is a nice crowd. they are here morning, noonan night. >> narrow range of tweaks to the senate bill for lack of a better word in putting it through the senate, a way to get the senate bill through the congress and that health care. >> we aren't talking about minor tweaks but our bills are about 75% the same, perhaps 80%. the president says 90%. maybe he knows something i don't know but there are some areas that we aren't the same and we
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have to find a way to move forward. but i would not call them minor tweaks because that would imply that there's something that we could easily accept. no, it's more serious than that. let me just say some of these side bar issues are issues that are very important, but they can be done. they can move quickly. and that's not about one thing over another. it's about time. and everything's about time here, when you get it done and how soon the american people can feel the positive effects. and that's what we want to do. yes, ma'am. >> follow up on that. what are the side bar issues that you think you can move quickly? are you talking about the pre-existing condition and how quickly are those things going to be on the house floor? >> when we are ready, we will bring them to the floor. right now we want to see where the senate will go. but we will have important
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announcements on those on what order they will come to the floor. some of them cannot be done without the basic bill. you can't really do insurance reforms unless you have something else that goes with it because otherwise you have no leverage with the insurance company. if you tell them you must insure people regardless of pre-existing conditions, whether they get sick or not, you can't have recisions and the insurance companies will most likely jack up the rights and that's not the point of this exercise. i want to go back to fiscal responsibility, because on health care, even if everyone loves their health insurance, we would still have to do this bill because of fiscal responsibility. we cannot sustain the cost of the system. and that's why i'm pleased the president placed the emphasis he did as he always does on fiscal
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soundness. again, subbing federal spending to scrutiny, the commission, pay-go. pay-go is something that we have worked very hard for in the house. for 30 years -- george miller had it at the national convention in philadelphia, mid-term convention in 1982 and it passed and became part of the democratic platform. our blue dogs have taken the lead. baron hill particularly on this fiscal soundness initiative. but i believe in the freeze that the president is suggesting that drastic action may be necessary to do something like that. and while we all want to support our men and women in uniform and i don't think they should be subjected to a freeze. the men and women in uniform, our national defense and our veterans, i don't think we have to protect military contractors. and i want to make that distinction very clearly. i do not think the entire
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defense budget should be exempted. i think the focus -- senator mccain said, i would have it across-the-board spending freeze. i know how to save billions. secretary of defense under respect reagan said if president obama is serious, he can't exempt the pentagon. march of 2009, g.a.o. report, pentagon's 96 largest weapons acquisition programs had cost overruns of $296 billion. i don't think they should be exempted from the freeze. there has to be a bifurcation in terms of we support our military and their families and want them to have everything they need in battle, but we do not support an entitlement program for overruns on the part of the military contractors. thank you all very much.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> speaker pelosi from this morning. in just a few minutes, we'll take you live to tampa, florida where president obama and vice president biden will speak at a town hall meeting. live coverage from the university of tampa when they get under way here on c-span. reaction from members of congress to the president's state of the union address last night. specifically focusing on the economy. we'll show you as much of this segment as we can until the president comes out. california, the vice-chairmen of the democratic congress. guest: thanks for having me. host: white do you think of the
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president's prescription that we just heard? -- what do you think? @@@@@@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ >> two-thirds of the new jobs that have been created comes out of small business. the president was right about focusing our efforts in trying to help the small business community to employ americans. if you try to target the large corporations, you aren't going to succeed because they are trying to open up new markets abroad as well. if you want to create a job here in america, small business. host: will his proposals find a welcome ear on capitol hill? guest: i think it will. i think the president gave us a good prescription of how to move forward on how to continue to increase the opportunities for americans businesses to create
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jobs. host: the president called for increase in our exports. what are some of the barriers to americans exporting more of their products overseas? guest: you heard the president mention, the fact that too many countries that have agreements with us aren't respecting those agreements and aren't enforcing the provisions while we do a very good job of trying to abide by the rules and offer those foreign companies opportunities in our country to sell their goods. too many countries abroad aren't respecting our products, our workers and allowing their markets to be open to our goods. and so, we have to make sure if we're going to sign an agreement, both parties live up to it. and times we have seen in the past several years that the trade agreements open up our markets but don't open up the markets of our foreign competitors. host: your state has been experiencing tough financial
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challenges. would you tell people what your overall view is in the federal government do in job creation? guest: the federal government working well can help avoid an economic catastrophe. we were on the verge of a great depression. and were it not for franklin roosevelt safety net protections that were created back in the 1930's we would have seen americans look at this as a great depression. and what we see that the federal government can do is help stimulate in local communities and in states the opportunities to start creating those jobs. so the economic recovery package that we passed at the president's request at the beginning of last year helped create and will save several millions because we gave states the opportunity to continue the road construction project or the school retrofitting project that was going to be on the self for
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quite some time for lack of money. we gave small businesses tax breaks to hire that new employee or buy that new computer when they said we don't have the finances. we can stimulate on the federal level but at the end of the day it's in the communities where businesses know i'm going to sell another widgeet and i need to hire another worker. host: congressman becerra is joining us this morning. and our first telephone call with our focus on jobs and the economy is from oklahoma. this is terry on the democrats' line. caller: thanks for having me on. the economy is in shambles. i see prices going up and being disabled we did not get a cost of living raise this year. and $250 one-time payment.
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and show me somebody that is a senior citizen or is disabled that has a savings account or can afford to live on what they've got -- healthy and be able not to worry about things, i would like to hear some comments on that. guest: terry is true. the president did propose trying to address that concern for many seniors who did not get a cost-of-living increase because of the recession. and for terry and 48 million seniors in this country, we have social security. most people didn't want to look at their 401k statements over the past year because they have lost almost all of their savings and one thing they didn't lose was social security. most members in congress, at leet democrats agree with terry that what we have to do is not
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only see social security survive but thrive and improve it so seniors have the safety net. when f.d.r. created social security, it's that safety net that stopped people going into the depth of depression. host: we heard from a worker who said the president didn't talk about unemployment benefits for people out of work. what are the democratic majority thinking about that in congress? guest: i was listening on the radio. and the person who called, i don't remember his name is correct that we have to do something for those who are trying to be employed. we did something last year to extend unemployment benefits and i think the president will try to and he mentioned the cobra extension and i believe the president will support that as well for that gentleman and others who are gainfully looking
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for work. not employed, but out there looking for work. i should mention in our house-passed jobs bill in december of 2009 and waiting for the senate to act on, we included the provision the gentleman is talking about, something for people who are actively searching for work don't find themselves -- [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> we are live at the university of tampa with president obama and vice president biden will hold a town hall meeting. live coverage on c-span. [cheers and applause] >> thank you all very, very much. thank you all very much. it's amazing the crowds i draw. [laughter] >> it's great to be with you all today and i really hope you got
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to hear the president's speech last night. wasn't it good? [cheers and applause] >> i think the president laid out with clarity and power what we have done, what we're going to do and how we're committed to getting it done. [cheers and applause] >> he laid out a clear and ambitious plan, a plan that flows from our core principles, the principles we ran on, our core mission that we said we were going to do when we took office a year ago. and that was very simple, to restore the middle class in america. [cheers and applause] >> look, because of the president's bold leadership, we weathered the most ferocious economic storm this nation has
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seen since the great depression, keeping us from sliding into a depression and some leading economists suggested. the president has understood that it's all about jobs because a lot of business to attend to just to keep us from sliding off the edge. well, ladies and gentlemen, the president knows one other thing. it is more than about jobs. it's more than a pay check. it's about dignity and about respect and too many people have lost it. [cheers and applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, president obama understands that the longest walk a mother or father can make is a trip up a short flight of stairs to that child's bedroom to say, honey, i'm sorry, you're not going to
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be able to stay at stewart middle school last year or you can't play on west tampa's little league team next year, honey. we're going to have to move because daddy or mommy lost their job or because the bank said we can't keep our house. my dad made that walk when i was a kid in our home in scranton, pennsylvania. i remember vividly my father walking up the stairs and i sitting in the bed with my sister valerie, the only one old enough to know what he was talking about, he said i'm sorry, honey, but i'm going to have to move. first thought i had was god, i thought they were getting divorce. he said i got to move, honey. you and val are going to stay here with mom, jimmy and grandpa
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because dad has to move to delaware. i'll come back and forth but we're going to be ok. when i got older, i realized how hard that must have been for my father to make that walk and go into the kitchen before that walk and say to his father-in-law, can you do me a favor, can you keep my family, jean and the kids stay here with you? i'll try to do it as quick as i can because there are no jobs. ladies and gentlemen, too many floridians have had to make that walk over the last two years. and the president and i understand, we understand. and we're determined to make sure that every hard-working floridian, every hard-working american is able to walk into his child's room and say, honey, it's going to be ok. that's what this is all about.
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[cheers and applause] >> that's what this is all about. as you heard last night, that's why we're putting in place the policies that will enable us to reduce the debt we inherited and deal with the spending required to keep us from falling off the cliff this year. and during that process, you heard him say how we are re-ordering our country's priorities. we are investing in health care, education, energy information, technology, health technology, electric vehicles and batteries. investments that will help us build a new economy for the 21st century, investments that will allow us to lead in the 21st century as we did in the 20th. ladies and gentlemen, we are determined to restore america to its rightful place at the leading edge of innovation with
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bold ideas that will create jobs immediately and serve as a foundation, a new platform. [cheers and applause] >> a new platform to build this economy on that will serve not just our immediate needs, but future generations. ideas, like wind power, solar energy, smart grid, broadband and high-speed rail. and that's why we're here today. [cheers and applause] >> having made over 7,900 trips literally on amtrak, 250 miles a day, i am very familiar with rail. [laughter] >> and today, you have no idea how pleased i am to talk about the announcement that we made
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yesterday a warning in total, nationwide, nearly $8 billion from the recovery act funding to move us in the direction of developing a high-speed rail service in 13 travel corridors covering 31 states all across this country. [cheers and applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, these investments, these investments have several goals. first, to improve existing rail lines to make train service faster and more reliable. two, to pull cars off the road, cutting pollution and increasing productivity. and three, to begin to develop new corridors for high-speed trains that will go from 169 to 230 miles an hour. [cheers and applause]
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the corridor right here from tampa to orlando. plauseplause >> so you will be able to get on a train here in orlando in less than an hour without battling traffic and congestion, arrive at your destination. ladies and gentlemen, this single investment is not going to solve all of our transportation issues overnight. instead with more than $55 billion of proposals from 50 states all across the country, we are providing $8 billion in seed money. and today's awards provide only initial funding for the rail system like tampa to orlando. more funding is going to come in the future as progress is made. we are committed to another $5 billion in funding over the next five years. it's a down payment on a national program that is going
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to reshape the way we travel and change the way we go from place to place, change the ways we work and live and connect communities that in the past was impossible, just like the interstate highway structure did back in the mid-1950's. it will have far-reaching consequences. how can we be in a position where china, spain, france and all the other countries who have rail systems that are far superior to ours. ladies and gentlemen, it's about time we move. but this time, but this time we're not only going to be providing a better way to transport but taking cars off of congested highways and reducing carbon emissions and saving billions of dollars in human productivity loss sitting in traffic jams and most importantly, we are creating jobs, good jobs, construction jobs, manufacturing jobs and we
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will be creating them right now. we're going to spur economic
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barack obama! [cheers and applause] >> thank you everybody. hello tampa! [cheers and applause] >> thank you so much. thank you everybody. everybody just make yourselves comfortable. we're going to be here for a little bit.
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[cheers and applause] >> thank you. thank you. we've got some special guests that i want to make sure we acknowledge. florida c.f.o. is in the house. [cheers and applause] >> representative kathy castor, your representative. [cheers and applause] >> representative alan grayson. [cheers and applause] >> representative kendrick meek. [cheers and applause] >> representative debbie wasserman schultz. [cheers and applause] >> your own mayor.
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[cheers and applause] >> the mayor of orlando. [cheers and applause] >> the president of university of tampa. [cheers and applause] >> and two very special guests, brian c. smidgetty and robert j. picard. members of the fema florida task force k-9 search specialists. they went down to haiti and worked 26-hour long shifts staying with victims until they
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were rescued. florida task force team saved seven lives. brian worked at a school where his dog powder found a young adult female buried in the rubble three, four days. these are the kinds of heroes that make america proud. give them a big hand of applause. stand up. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. i've got to do this. even though -- i know you all are upset that you took that success to the colts, but he
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made his name here in tampa and not just a great coach but he's just a model individual and leader. we're very proud to have him in the house, coach tony dungy! [cheers and applause] >> any of you want some analysis about the upcoming super bowl, the coach has agreed to -- no -- good to see you, coach. all right. now, first of all let me say it's good to be back in the sunshine state. [cheers and applause] >> it is especially good to be
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back in january. and it's always nice to get out of washington. it is. and spend a little time with the people who send me to washington . [cheers and applause] >> now, i spoke with you about where we've been over the past year and where i believe we need to go. and i said what all you know from your own lives. these are difficult times, these are challenging times for our country. and last two years, we have gone through the deepest recession since the great depression. think about that. a big chunk of the people here, certainly the younger people here have never even seen a recession. it doesn't registers on their minds. this is the toughest thing that
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the country has gone through economically since the 1930's. in tampa, like so many other communities across our country, has felt lost jobs, home foreclosures and definedling savings and this storm came at the end of what some call a lost decade because what happened between 2,000 and now was a decade in which paychecks shrink and jobs barely grew and the cost of everything from health care to college education went up. irresponsibility from wall street to washington left good responsible americans who did everything right still struggling in ways they never imagined. joe and i took office in the middle of this raging storm. we ran for office, the highest
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office, because we had been hearing stories like this day in and day out for years, even before the financial crisis hit. so we're not going to rest until we've rebuilt an economy in which hard work and responsibility are rewarded and businesses are hiring again and wages are growing again and the middle class can get its legs underneath it again. [cheers and applause] >> we will not rest until we build an economy that's ready for america's future. to do that, the first thing we had to do was break the back of this recession. and that required some tough, in some cases, unpopular, but all which were necessary steps. i mean, i mentioned this last
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night, none of us wanted to stabilize the banking center, especially since they helped create this mess. but as i explained last night, if we hadn't, the financial system literally could have melted down. and that would taken our entire economy and millions more families and businesses with it. but because of the steps we've taken, now the markets have stabilized. the economy is growing again. [cheers and applause] >> the worst of the storm has passed, but i think all of you understand the devastation remains. one in 10 americans still can't find work. that's why creating jobs has to be our number one priority in 2010. [cheers and applause]
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>> the true engines of job creation here in america are america's businesses. and there are several steps we can take to help them expand and hire new workers. last night i proposed taking $30 billion, the money that went to wall street banks and have now been repaid and give it to community banks to small businesses to help them stay afloat. that will help. [cheers and applause] >> i also proposed a new tax credit for more than one million small businesses that hire new workers or raise wages. and while we're at it, i believe we should eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment and provide a tax incentive for all businesses to invest in new plants and equipment. [cheers and applause] >> as joe mentioned, we're going to put more americans to work
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rebuilding our infrastructure. and building our infrastructure of the future. i mean it's important to repave our roads. it's important to repair our bridges so that they're safe. but we want to start looking deep into the 21st century and we want to say to ourselves there is no reason why other countries can build high-speed rail lines and we can't. and that's what's about to happen right here in tampa. we are going to start building a new high-speed rail line right here in tampa, building for the future. putting people to work. [cheers and applause] >> i'm excited. i'm going to come back down here and ride it.
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huh? joe and i -- you all have a date . when that thing is all set up, we'll come down here and check it out. and by the way, this high-speed rail line is being funded by the recovery act. [cheers and applause] >> and one other thing we can start doing for jobs here in america that i mentioned last night. i talked about this all through the campaign. we put this proposal in our budget and we keep getting resistance and we will end tax breaks to companies who ship jobs overseas and give the money to businesses that create jobs right here in america. it's the right thing to do. it's the right thing to do. [cheers and applause]
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>> now, i have to say this. the steps that i just mentioned will help accelerate job growth in an economy that is already beginning to grow. but the steps we take alone won't make up for the seven million jobs we lost over the last two years. keep in mind when we were sworn into office, that december we had lost 650,000 jobs. january, as we were being sworn in, we lost 700,000 jobs. february, 650,000 jobs. so before we could even put in place the recovery act, you had already seen millions of jobs lost. that's a deep hole that we're going to have to fill. and the only way to do that is
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to lay a new foundation for long-term economic growth and finally address the struggles that middle-class families have been grappling with for years. florida, that's why joe and i asked for the chance to serve as your president and vice president. because, look, we didn't seek this office to push our problems off or take the easy road through the next election. we ran to solve problems, problems that had been nagging at america for decades. we want to solve them for the next generation. we ran to get the tough stuff done. so as i mentioned last night, i make no apology for trying to fix stuff that's hard --
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[cheers and applause] >> >> i'll be honest with you, joe and i are pretty smart politicians. we have been at this for a while. the easiest way to keep your poll numbers high is to say nothing and to do nothing that offends anybody. that's true. no. no. no. you just wave and smile -- [laughter] >> that's how you do it. the minute you actually start doing something, somebody's going to disagree with you. but that's what i promised. remember, some of you remember the campaign. i said i wasn't just going to tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear.
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so none of this is new. there's nothing that we had talked about since we entered the white house that we didn't talk about during the campaign. and so long as we have the privilege of serving you, we will not stop fighting for your future, nome -- no matter how many lumps we have to take to get it done. [cheers and applause] >> i do also have to just mention, i'm going to mention -- you know i love you in the media, but i will mention this little aspect. our friends with the pads and pencils, last week, i went to ohio. and i started saying what i'm saying now, which is i'm going to fight for your future. and they got all worked up last
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week. they said is he trying to change his message? is he trying to get more popular? is this a strategy that he's pursuing to boost this, that and the other? is this something new? i just have to do a little rewind here of how we ran our grassroots campaign, because i've got some news. i've got some news of my own here. i have been fighting for working folks my entire adult life. that's why i entered public service to fight for folks in chicago, that's why i ran for the state senate and u.s. senate and ran for president and people here in florida and for people all across the united states of america.
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[cheers and applause] >> i seem to remember coming to tampa two weeks before the election. and you know what i said, this is a quote. people can check. i'm sure it was reported in the newspapers. i said change never comes without a fight. that was true then. it's true now. change never comes without a fight, florida. so i won't stop fighting. i know you won't either. we aren't going to stop fighting to give our kids a world class education, to make college more affordable to make sure that by 2020 we have the highest rate of college attendance than any country in the world. [cheers and applause]
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>> so we propose that graduates should only pay 10% of their income to pay back their student loans. [cheers and applause] >> and what i have said is we'll forgive student loan after 20 years. but after 10, if you choose a career in public service and if you decide you want to be a teacher, if you decide you want to be a cop, if you're not making huge amounts of money, we don't want to discourage you from that because of the cost of
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college. by the way, i have i have been there and michelle has been there, it took us 10 full years to pay off michelle's student loans, 15 to pay mine off. so i have been there. and our belief and i think your belief is, in the united states of america, nobody should go broke because they chose to go to college. we want everybody to go to college. [cheers and applause] >> we won't stop fighting to spark innovation and ignite a
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clean energy economy where america's workers are building solar panels and wind towers and cutting-edge batteries for automobiles because the nation that leads the clean-energy revolution will be the nation that leads the global economy. and as i said last night, other countries aren't waiting. they want those jobs. china wants those jobs. germany wants those jobs. they are going after them hard, making the investments required. we aren't going to stop fighting to give every american a fair shake. the first bill i signed into law was making sure that there was equal pay for equal work for women, the littlely ledbetter act because i think you should be paid the same for doing the same work. that's just fair.
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[cheers and applause] >> by the way, men, you should have been standing up clapping for that because most families are depending on two paychecks, not one, to get by. we aren't going to stop fighting to protect the american consumer. i signed a credit card bill of rights into law to protect you from surprise charges and retroactivetive rate hikes and other unfair rules. that's why i'm fighting for a tauf consumer protection agency to protect you against hidden fees that could make an a.t.m. withdrawal fee cost 30 bucks. you know, i just want to be clear here for the benefit of my friends in the back, we need a strong financial sector.
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without it, businesses can't get capital to grow and create jobs. families can't finance a home loan or education. so we want a healthy financial sector. and there are folks all across the country working in banks doing great service to their community, but we also need to rules of the road for wall street so that reckless decisions made by a few don't take our economy over the side. that's common sense. there's nothing radical about that. [cheers and applause] >> in fact, the banks should want it because it will create greater stability in the system. and, yes, we will not stop fighting for a health care system that works for the american people, not just for the insurance industry. [cheers and applause] >> we won't stop.
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we want a system where you can't be denied care if you have a pre-existing condition. you can't get thrown off your insurance right at the time when you get seriously ill. we want a system where small businesses can get insurance at a price they acan afford. no one pays more than small businesses and individuals who are self-employed in the insurance market because they've got no leverage. we want to change that by allowing them to set up a pool. we want to make sure that people who don't have coverage can find coverage in a competitive marketplace. we want a system where seniors don't have huge gaps in their medicare prescription drug coverage. and where medicare itself is on a sound financial footing.
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those are the things that we're fighting for. and i'm not going to stop on that, because it's the right thing to do. and by the way, if you are serious about reducing our deficit and debt, you cannot accomplish it without reforming our health care system, because that's what's gobbling up more federal dollars than anything else. i don't understand folks who say they don't want to see government spending out of control and then are fighting reforms that the congressional budget office says would cut $1 trillion off our deficit over the next two decades. those aren't my numbers. we're never going to stop fighting to cut waste and abuse. we have had deficits that have been accumulating for too long. families across the country are tightening their belt and making
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tough decisions. it's time for the federal government to do the same. and that's why i proposed specific steps last night to bring the deficit down. and i'm grateful that the senate just passed as we were flying down here to florida a rule called pay-as-you-go or pay-go, which is the reason we had record surpluses in the 1990's instead of the record deficits that were handed to me when i walked into office. it is a very simple concept this pay-go that says you have to pay as you go. it's sort of how you live at least that's after you cut up those credit cards. you want to start a new program, start a new program, but you have to end an old one that pays for it. if you want to cut taxes, great, cut taxes, but you have to fill the revenue that results when you lose that tax revenue. so the idea is just honest
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accounting. that's what's needed. let me say one more word about health care. i'm gnawing on this bone a little bit. i know the longer the process worked through on a complicated issue like this, the uglier it looked. you know there's -- and it doesn't help when you have the insurance industry spending several hundred million dollars advertising against it. but after a while, people didn't know what to think and they -- you start asking yourselves, what's in it for me? a as i said last night, i take my share of the blame not explaining the approach more clearly, but this isn't going to go away. the tough stories i read at night, they're not stopping. i'm not going to walk away from these efforts and i won't walk away from you. and i don't think congress
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should walk away either. we are going to keep working to get this done and i hope we can get some republicans to join democrats in understanding the urgency of the problem. [cheers and applause] >> on every one of these issues, my door remains open to good ideas from both parties. i want the republicans off the sidelines. i want them working with us to solve problems facing working families, not to score points. i want a partnership. what we can't do -- here's what i'm not open to, i don't want gridlock on issue after issue after issue when there are so
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many urgent problems to solve. and i don't want an attitude if obama loses, then we win. that can't be a platform. you know, even -- [cheers and applause] >> even if you disagree with me on some specific issues, all of us should be rooting for each other. all of us should be rooting for america moving forward and solving problems. [cheers and applause] >> so that you lose-i win mentality, that mindset may be good for short-term politics but it's not a mindset equal to these times. it's not worthy of you, what you deserve is for all of us to work through our differences, overcome our politics, do what is hard, do what is necessary to advance the american dream and keep it alive for our time and
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all time. we have come through a tough year and a tough decade, but a new year is here and a new decade is stretching before us. opportunities are there for the taking. every business owner working on the innovation of tomorrow. every student reaching for a better future, every one ready to roll up their sleeves and play their part in rebuilding america. yes, we can. we don't back down. we don't quit. we are americans. and today, here with all of you, i have never been more hopeful about our future than i am right now. i am confident that we can make this happen and move this country forward. thank you very much. i love you guys. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you.
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all right i've got -- everybody relax again. everybody relax. i've got time for a few questions. i'm going to take off my jacket here. you want to hold my coat. >> you answer all the tough questions. i'll hold the coat. >> i know there may be some tough questions here. here are the only rules to this. i'm going to try to get in about five, six questions. i won't be able to get to everybody. i apologize in advance. make sure it's fair, we're going to go girl, boy, girl, boy. i'm going to call on a young lady first and i'm going to call on a gentleman and just keep ongoing down the line. everybody's pointing in this --
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young woman in the red, so we'll start with you. and if you don't mind, introduce yourself and wait for the microphone. the microphone will be coming up. all right. >> hello, mr. president. i'm a student at the university of florida. [boos] >> uh-oh. we can all get along. >> i did work on your campaign and great way for the community because you involved us as youth to understand the grassroots movement and what impact it could make. my question is, last night in your state of the union address you spoke of america's support for human rights. then why have we not condemned israel's and egypt's human
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rights against the occupied palestinian people and yet we continue to support them with billions of dollars coming from our tax dollars? >> everybody has to be courteous. let me just talk about the middle east generally. look -- all right everybody. i have to answer my question first. i know -- you got some beads on. are those new orleans beads? look. look. look. the middle east is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries. and it's an issue that alist its a lot of passions, as you've heard. here's my view.
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israel is one of our strongest allies. let me play this out. it is a vibrant democracy. it shares links with us in all sorts of ways. it is critical for us -- and i will never waiver from insuring israel's security and helping them secure themselves in what is a very hostile region. so i make no apologies for that. what is also true is that the plight of the palestinians is something that we have to pay attention to because it is not good for our security and it is not good for israel's security
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if you've got millions of individuals who feel hopeless, who don't have an opportunity to get an education or get a job or what have you. now, the history there is long and i don't have time to go through the grievances of both sides on the issue. what i have said and what we did in the beginning when i came into office is to say that we are seeking a two-state solution in which israel and the palestinians can live side by side in peace and security. in order to do that, both sides are going to have to make compromises. as a first step, the palestinians have to renounce violence and recognize israel. and israel has to acknowledge
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legitimate grievances and interests to the palestinians. we know what a solution could look like in the region, but here's the problem that we're confronting right now, is that both in israel and within the palestinian territories, the politics are difficult. they're divided. the israeli government came in based on the support of a lot of folks who don't want to make a lot of concessions. i think prime minister netanyahu is making some effort to try to move a little bit further than his coalition wants him to go. on the other hand, president abbas of the palestinian authority, who i think genuinely wants peace has to deal with hamas, an organization that has not recognized israel and has
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not disavowed violence, so we are working to strengthen the ability of both parties to sit down across the table and to begin serious negotiations. and i think it's important when we're talking about this issue to make sure that we don't just knee-jerk, use language that is inflammatory or in some fashion discourages the possibility of negotiation. we've got to recognize that both the palestinian people and israelis have legitimate aspirations and they can be best served if the united states is helping them understand each other as opposed to demonizing each other. .
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>> let me make a general statement about high-speed rail. number one is that making an investment in infrastructure is a twofer because it creates jobs immediately and it lays the foundation for a vibrant economy in the future. it is one of our best investments. it is expensive. we have a couple of trillion dollars worth of infrastructure
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repairs just on our old existing infrastructure. people remember what happened to the bridge in minneapolis. it buckled and collapsed. unfortunately, we've got a lot of the aging infrastructure which is not as visible as bridges. some of its water systems, pipes underground that essentially were built back in the 1930's and in some cases even older than that. we are going to have to make a commitment to our long-term infrastructure and one of the things we are hoping to do is, as we make more investments in infrastructure under my administration, that we start figure galloway's -- figure it out ways to take the politics out of infrastructure. right now, a lot of decisions are made on projects as to who has most powerful congressman or senator we hope some of the
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decision making will be based more on what are the engineering plans that determined that this is the best project to go forward. one way of doing that is to create an infrastructure bank where at least a certain amount of infrastructure money for new projects would be guided by some clear criteria, a lot of transparency, engineers, and urban planners, and city planners involved in the process so that we can also get regional planning. part of what happens when politics is involved in transportation is that the commissioner over here may not may have the same idea as the mayor over here who may not have the same idea at the center over there except all represent a similar region. you get a whole bunch of traffic systems that do not work. and are not efficient and do not
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serve commuters very well at all. that is the kind of general direction that we would like to move to. the second point i would make is that if we are going to make investments in infrastructure anyway, we cannot just look backwards, we have to look forward. how many people here have been on one of these high-speed trains? when you're traveling outside the country, for the most part? postings are fast, they are smooth, you don't have to take off your shoes. [laughter] right? check to see if you are wearing socks with no holes in them. why is it we don't have those? part of it is that we are a big country. we are not as densely populated as some countries in europe and asia.
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let's face it, we love our cars. we love our cars. we don't love gas prices, but we love our cars. what about gas prices? i will talk it out that in a second. -- i will talk about that in the secondary i will talk about that now. i mentioned last night, we have to increase production on oil. we have to increase production on natural gas because we will not be able to get all of our clean energy up and running quickly enough to meet all of our economic growth needs. but even if we are increasing production, we have to get started now decreasing our use and making our economy more efficient. [applause] that is why we need to invest in infrastructure like high-speed rail that will allow us to choose the option of taking the train.
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if more and more facilities like that are available, that will be good for the economy of a region and it will be good for individual lifestyles because people will not be stuck in traffic for two hours. it will increase productivity. people get to work on time faster. they will be less aggravated. right? joe, in terms of high-speed rail, do you have more to say? >> think of the interstate highway system in the 1950's. you picked the portions where you could begin to build, of where there was the most likely to be the heaviest traffic so that people could use it the most. they built that out. what we did is we picked, the department transportation picked the orlando-tampa route because your most ready. your plans for the most advanced. [applause]
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and the objective is that it will not just be here. it will come up to miami, as well. [applause] california, mr. president, there is a $2 billion at best known -- investment. they are ready to go. they are both republican governors. we did not pick this based on politics. i mean that sincerely. we are picking the places that make the most sense, had the highest density, are ready to go and there has been $55 billion worth of requests coming from the state's. the good news is that we are also funding would some of the money planning efforts. some of the plans are not a completed. lastly, we are making a big difference with a portion of this money, over $1 billion, on taking railroads from richmond to washington to go 65 miles per hour. by getting that up to 110 miles per hour, you take a whole lot of cars off the highway and becomes economically reasonable
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to do it. we are taking plans that exist and increase the mileage where it can make a difference on congestion. i-95, and you all know i-295, it goes all the way up to marway and costs $22 million per plane to build per mile. you can build a railroad for less than $2 million. [applause] it makes sense. it is where it works and will have to build it out. [applause] >> let me just say -- give a complement to vice president joe biden. he has overseen the recovery act. you have not seen scandal break out on a huge endeavor.
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people complain about how government works and waste money. the truth is that if you look at how the recovery dollars have been spent, they have been spent the way they were promised. there is complete transparency so you guys can go on the white house website and look at every single project that has been awarded from the recovery act grant. every single one. you can scrutinize them. you know who the contractors are. you know who is doing the work. now when disposed to be finished. you can check that all of this stuff and you will be able to monitor how the high-speed rail project here is operating by going to our website. it is a young ladies in turn. -- it is a young lady's turn. it is a woman's turn.
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all right, how about -- she is jumping up and down, right here. sir, you cannot blow your whistle. >> president barack obama, roshanda williams. i gave you a poem. i framed it and put it on a nice background. my question is and i told her to give it to you -- my question is, my brothers are in and out of jail. they are involved in drugs. many of them cannot get jobs coming out. the only thing they know is to go back to what they are used to. my brother is 27. he has 33 felonies. drug felonies.
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is there any thing that could be put into motion that could give these guys coming from prison where they can get hired and get their self-esteem built back up and they don't have to go back and sell drugs. if they don't hire them, they will continue to sell the drugs. we need some kind of company that can teach these telamon coming out some kind of trade that can keep them from going out on the street and selling drugs again. [applause] >> i look forward to reading your column. -- reading your palm. -- reading your poem. we have a great challenge particularly in our inner-city communities. they go to rural communities in the midwest right now, they may be so different drugs but you are seeing the same patterns.
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joe and i were campaigning in iowa. you go into small towns where you would not think there would be a problem with the drug trade and the methamphetamine trade was identical to the crack trade in the big cities. same patterns of young people getting drawn in. a couple of things have to happen to deal with this problem. number one, the single most important thing we can do is to make sure that our very young children are getting a healthy start in life and that their parents parent or caregiver has the support necessary so that they can stay on a straight path of success in school. if the minds of young people are active and they are doing well in school, they are less likely
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to fall prey to either using drugs or deciding to deal in drugs. that is why i mentioned yesterday, the single best anti- poverty program around is a world-class education. that is why we will invest in early childhood education and that is why we are reforming and pushing states and communities to reform health education works. by the way, we got into trouble sometimes not just from conservatives but from liberals because we are trying to shake up low-performing schools. people ask why we don't give them more money. my attitude is that we can give more money to schools, that is important, smaller class sizes, better classrooms, all those things i care deeply about but that money will not make a bit of difference if we are not also reforming how kids are learning.
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we have to make sure that our teachers know their subject matter and that they know the best way to teach, making sure that parents are staying on top of kids and instilling a sense of excellence and performance in those youths. i want to make that point first because frankly, it would be so much easier to work with your brother if he had not gone to jail in the first place to get a job. 33 felonies is a lot. that is a long rap sheet which means -- if i am a business owner, i would say to myself," the unemployment rate is 10%. there are benefits to have not been to jail looking for a job. it is hard for me to say that i will choose the guy who went to jail." instead of the person and never went to jail and has been laid off. having said that, what is also
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true is exactly right what you sake -- if we cannot break the cycle, that all we are doing is turning vote in a revolving door to the jail system and back to the streets and back to dealing drugs. this is part of my religious faith. you don't have to be religious to say that you believe in the idea of redemption. people can get a second chance. people can change. [applause] so, one of the things we have done is actually, vice president joe biden, myself, some republicans, sam brownback, for example of kansas, have worked together to promote what we call the second chance act which links x 0 vendors with -- x of vendors with skills and opportunities to get some work experience and then essentially
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certified that they are ready for the workplace and then try to encourage private-sector companies to hire some of these ex-zero vendors. the program is not as well founded as i would like. we would like to see if we could do more with it. it has begun a partnership with state and local communities. but i do think it is something that ends up being wise for taxpayers because every prisoner is costing us about $20,000 and everyone of us are paying for it. if we can print programs to work, breaking that cycle, ultimately, that will be a good investment for taxpayers across the country. all right, it is a man's turn. i will call in that big guy right there with very little
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air. [laughter] -- very littlehair. >> i am from clear water and i have a small manufacturing cream company. -- green company. i am frustrated because i can create 500 jobs, go to the bank, cannot get a loan, and i speak for all businesses in the united states. we are tired of dealing with banks and they don't understand -- i know you care. i know you are trying. and i appreciate the pledge of $38 billion to small businesses. but lending it to the banks to lend to us is not the answer. [applause] the question is -- why can't you use the fda --
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threaten to the automakers and banks -- why can't the government make small business loans directly to us? >> that is a good question. you should be aware that we have increased sba loans during the course of this year by 70% in some cases. some of the key programs for businesses like yours, we have massively increased their lending and, by the way, we have waived some of the fees and red tape that are associated with you getting a loan from the spla. ba. it is not enough. i know you were shaking your head it is not enough because you still want a loan.
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i want you to know that it is not like we have not thought of using the sba. we have. the challenge that we have is that even sba loans are generally run, not by the sba, de work with local banks, community banks, neighborhood banks to process the loan and essentially the sba under rights alone -- underwrite the loan. they do not have the infrastructure to go all across the country in every region and process loans to small businesses directly because they do not have enough people. the sba doesn't have the staff to do it. keep in mind, a small-business loan of any sort or a large
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business loan of any sort requires some sense of what the business plan is, what are your projected earnings, etc. somebody has to do that. if they sba takeover that function, we would have to stand up to a massive bureaucracy. we would have to train all of those people. it would take too long and you would be frustrated. why can a big government agency run anything? we decided instead to take $30 billion that was repaid by the banks and make that available under criteria that will encourage small banks to give those loans to you. if we do that effectively, we can potentially get that money out the door more quickly.
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i am absolutely sympathetic to what you are saying because i hear it everywhere i go. that is why i mentioned it last night in my speech. you have a lot of small-business owners who are ready to grow, ready to hire, but they cannot get financing. we are going to use the sba as one tool. $30 billion will help. ultimately, the vast majority of small businesses, their loans will come from. the private from we've got to get the private sector to think differently. what happened here was that everybody was making loans without thinking of the risk. they're sending money out the door. that is how a lot of overdevelopment happened. it happened in florida and it happened in nevada and california. people were not asking a lot of
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questions. the bottom falls out and the pendulum has shifted to pour the other direction so that even if you have a good business plan, you have a good model and you are making profits and a good product, banks are now reluctant to lend. we are trying to encourage them to get that happy medium where they are not taking such exorbitant risks that they threaten the entire system but they are also open to enough risks that america's dynamic free enterprise system is actually able to work. one aspect of this is getting regulators who oversee the banks which are not under my supervision, these are independent bank regulators, getting them to at least take a closer look at their policies. many bankers will tell you that they want to lower your money
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but they are worried about suffering losses they suffered because some of the mortgage stuff went belly up. they will say that they have a bank regulator breathing down their neck, making sure that they are keeping their capital levels high enough. they will have to make some adjustments there. that is not something the administration can do directly great we can encourage these independent regulators to take a closer look. i am confident you will succeed and you can give reggie love your business card because we want to find out about your terrific business. [applause] i have got time only for two more questions. this young lady, right here, she has been standing here a long time. >> first, my 16-year-old son wanted me to tell you that he is a big supporter. >> tell him, thank you so much.
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>> many families are having to withdraw money from their 401k's. there's a 10% penalty for that. since the withdrawals are taking place too hard to come up families do not always have the money to pay the 10% and the penalty. the interest accrues until the day full payment is made for the irs recently made headlines after giving tax breaks to citigroup. several months ago, people with offshore accounts were given amnesty. my question is, why is the irs coming after the middle class, creating more stress for us and what is your plan to help resolve this? if congress is unable to deal with this issue and directly impact the middle class, would be happy to contribute my ideas. [applause] >> well, this is something that
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i personally experienced. this was several years ago. michelle and i had some family emergencies when i was to working in a law firm. i had a small retirement accounts set up. i ended up having to withdraw it and pay that 10% penalty. it was no fun. it was what we had to do. we were young enough that we could absorb that hit. many families are not in that position if they have a nest egg, to suddenly -- it is bad enough to draw down but also to have to pay taxes on top of it is tough. the reason that policy is in place is because you are getting that money tax-free, the idea of being you will use it for retirement. if you are spending it early
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before retirement, then you can imagine that many people could potentially be the system by using these accounts to avoid taxes. i want to show little sympathy here for those who are trying to enforce law. they are not mean-spirited, they are just trying to work with the system that was set up. i think you are raising a legitimate point, though. we started looking at this, joe, and we started taking a look at if there are circumstances and the specific thing we thought about was medical emergencies. this would be where people should not be penalized for it. 82:i think that issuing a blankt amnesties in all circumstances may not be possible.
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but taking a look at certain narrow categories of emergencies in which these penalties could be swayed, is something we have discussed. i think we could explore that. all right? [applause] ok. all right. [applause] everybody is pointing at this young man. i will call on this guy right here. i think that was all his sister's pointing at him. >> i am a student at ut. [applause] my question is -- last night, you talk about repealing "ask,
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don't tell." what are you putting in motion so that homosexuals are treated as equal citizens of the united states in marriage and benefits and heterosexual couples enjoy after marriage? >> as i said last night, my belief is that a basic principle in our constitution is that if you are obey a law, if you are following the rules, that you should be treated the same perio regardless of who you are. i think that applies to days and lesbian couples. at the federal level, one of the things we're trying to do is to make sure that partnerships are
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recognized for purposes of benefits so that hospital visitation is something that is permitted, so that social security benefits or pension benefits, that same-sex couples are recognized in all those circumstances. we actually have an opportunity of passing a law that has been introduced in congress now and my hope is that this year, we can get it done for federal employees and federal workers. a lot of companies on their own, some of the best run companies, have adopted the same practices. i think it is the right thing to do. it makes sense for us to take a leadership role in insuring that people are treated the same. look, if you are -- regardless of your personal opinions, the
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notion that somebody who is working really hard for 30 years can't take their death benefits and transfer them to persons that they love the most in the world and who has supported them all their lives, that does not seem fair. it doesn't seem right [applause] i think is the right thing to do. ok, guys, listen everybody, i've got to take off. i warn you guys that i could not enter every question. zhod on a second. hold on a second. i want to say this -- look, we
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have gone through a very difficult year but i have great optimism that we have begun to dig ourselves out of this whole. in order for us to do this successfully, we will have to work together, we will have to listen to each other, we will have to be respectful of each other. i want to end mentioning something that i talked about last night. our political dialogue in this country has always been noisy and messy because we come from different places, we have different ideas, different beliefs. i understand all that. but, we are all americans. we all should anticipate that the other person, even if they disagree with us, as the best of intentions.
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we don't have to call them names. we don't have to demonize them. that is true whether you are a democrat or republican, whether you're a conservative or liberal, or independent. being respectful and listening to other people's point of use and understanding that most of these issues are complicated. look, let me take the example of health care. part of the reason why it is so easy to scare people about health care, even if they don't like it the way it is now, is because you have doctors, nurses, hospitals, insurance systems, medicaid, medicare, the va system, all the systems constitute several trillion dollars, up 1/6 of our economy. even if you come up with a great plan that lowers premiums and
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create greater competition and insurers freedom for you to choose your doctor and is bringing down the deficit, all the things i claimed and prevent insurance companies from abusing customers. even if we do all that, there will be somebody out there in 8 $2 trillion system that is not happy with something. they will complain. they might be a medical device manufacturer. they might say that if we reform the system, that will change how they sell their product. there will be a doctor that says that right now they get charged one way and if we change how medicare reimburses, they might have to change their billing system and that will cost them a few thousand dollars. they do not like that. the reason i point this out is because if we are going to do big things on energy or health
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care or infrastructure, we will have some differences. we have to work them through. nothing that human beings do will be perfect but we should not assume that the other side is either heartless and does not care about six people or a socialist-communist is trying to take over the health care system. we start getting into these caricatures of each other that are damaging. frankly, the political parties and the media have not been helping. they have been worse. i want to dial some of that backed. let's start thinking of each other as americans first, figuring out how we can help one another, figure out how we can move the country corporate i am confident we will do great. thank you, everybody, god bless you. thank you. [applause] [hail to the chief]
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> the senate has approved raising the federal debt limit by more than $2 trillion. the vote was along party lines, 60-39. they added an amendment to allow new spending be offset by spending reductions or tax increases 3 measure now goes to the house pretty soon it turns to the domination of the federal reserve chairman ben bernanke to a second term. the bill is possible today. the house is not in session because republicans are
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attending their legislative retreated baltimore. next month marks one year since congress passed the economic stimulus money. of the $787 billion approved, just under $330 billion has been committed with $172 billion actually paid out so far. to learn more about those projects, go to c- . this weekend, we'll talk about how the growth of the middle class -- the middle eastern middle-class has grown. also dr. seuss and presidential policy going back to the nixon administration. find the entire weekend schedule at today in london, representatives
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from over 60 countries are meeting to set goals for the future of afghanistan. afghan president hamid karzai told the conference that is country is moving slowly toward national security but that training security forces could take years. at an opening session this morning, the british and that an leaders and the un secretary general outlined their goals for the conference. . .
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>> in the last year britain has suffered hundreds of fatalities per he to the countries represented today recognizes that this mission is vital for our national security. it is vital to the stability of this crucial region and it is vital to the security of our world. we set out last autumn on strategies and we're making progress. the military search is turning
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to the tide against the taliban- led insurgency. it is at the same time building the capacity of the afghan forces who are fighting alongside us. a civilian surge is insuring that areas are cleared of the taliban and our stabilization teams go in to work with local to halt ground that has been a superdelegate. britain is proud that we lead the largest civilian reconstruction team in afghanistan. during 2009, we doubled the number of british civilian experts. secretary clinton has announced that america is now contributing a number -- is increasing the number of americans deployed. i urge other countries to follow this lead and helped deliver this coordinated military and civilian surge across the many
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countries involved. i welcome the appointments that have been made. i have described our shared strategy as one of the afghanization, building up at the institutions, the army, the police, civilian government, so that as they become stronger, we can hand over to the responsibility of tackling terrorism and extremism. it will take time but i believe that the conditions set out in the plan that we will sign up to today can be met sooner than many expect and as a result, the process of handling this district by district will start later this year. this will not signal an end to our support for afghanistan. i know none of us wants to repeat the mistakes of the past.
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the international community abandoned afghanistan and the region previously. it will mark the beginning of a new phase of a decisive step towards the afghans taking control of their own security. last november to announce support, britain announced an increase in british forces to 9500 plus special forces and support. that is part of an approach across the international coalition. america is taking legal and all countries are bearing a share the burden. 38 countries have already offered manpower. i warmly welcome the commitment made in this last day by chancellor merkel, increasing the german troop numbers to buy thousand. -- to 5000. 9000 additional nato troops have been committed to the campaign
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since president barack obama announced the american increase with more being announced this week. in return for this additional commitment, we of the international community must agree with president hamid karzai the expansion of the afghan army and police a pledge the necessary trading support to do so. we will agree today that the afghan national army will # 134,000 by october, 2010 and 171,600 by october 2011. today, we will commit to a plan with afghan national police numbers -- 109,000 by october this year and 134,000 by october, 2011. this will bring afghan national security forces to 300,000 in total. that is the presence or bigger
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than our coalition forces. we need more international police trainers to do this. we are doubling the number of military mentoring teams for the afghan police starting in april of this year. african security forces will be 300,000. international forces will rise to 135,000. the balance will continue to shift towards afghan security control. as president obama made clear last month, by the middle of next year, we have determined the type of the fight against the insurgency and also in our work to support the afghan government in winning the trust of the people. today we affirm, as an international community, that the increase in our military efforts must be matched with governments and economic development. we have agreed today to back up
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the security transitions we wish to achieve problem -- province by province with an agreement for a coordinated civilian plan to back that up. president karzai, as an international community, we will stand united with you in your work of the five areas you raised in your inaugural address. fighting corruption, securing strong government, economic development, supporting an afghan-led peace and reintegration program, and strengthening the partnerships with afghan neighbors. i commend the progress you have made since your inauguration speech. we welcome your decision to appoint an independent high office of oversight with investigative and white -- power and international monitoring group of experts which will provide regular reports to you, to the african parliament, the afghan people,
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and the international community. i know from my many visits to helmund that local governments is also critical. we agree to provide additional support to train 12,000 civil servants in court administrative functions in support of the provincial and district governance and do so by the end of 2011. i am pleased to announce a partnership with the asia foundation and the afghan independent director for local governments, american, british, canadian, and belgian governments are launching a governor's fund which will provide more finance for provisional governors based on need and evidence of accountability and effectiveness. in return for the action that you have announced on corruption and better governance, the international community will not just maintain its aid but also aim to increase the share which is delivered through your governance and budget and we will do so to 50% in the next
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two years. the world bank, the imf, and evidence major creditors have this week agreed to provide up to $1.6 billion in debt relief from major credit tores, taking total debt relief to $11 billion. if afghanistan is to enjoy greater stability and prosperity, farmers are working people in towns and villages must also have a stake in the economic future. britain is contributing over $72 million in new programs to support agriculture and other projects to encourage growth. i welcomed chancellor merkel's decision to double german aid. overall, international aid to afghanistan will complete the purposes we have agreed on.
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in the last financial year, it was $3.6 billion, making up 45% of the afghan's national income. international and afghan forces are weakening the insurgency, applying pressure to its leadership. a familiar elephant of successful revolution through history is to combine this strategy of strengthening our security forces and strengthening the security forces of the afghan people with the offer of a way forward for those prepared to renounce violence, abandon past activities, and choose to join the political process. let us welcome the plants from president karzai and the government of afghanistan for an afghan-led peace and reintegration program that offers prepared to renounce violence a way back into mainstream life on the condition that they continue to renounce
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violence, cut any ties with al qaeda and all other terrorist groups, respect the constitution, and pursue their political goals peacefully. as an international community responding to president karzai's leadership, we're establishing a trust fund to finance this afghan-led peace and reintegration program to provide an economic alternative to those who have none. for those insurgents who refuse to accept the conditions for reintegration, we have no choice but to pursue them militarily. let me therefore conclude that as we look forward to the next conference, that will be held in kabul. let us pay tribute to all those who have served in afghanistan through these troubled times. they're not just our great forces from all arab countries and the afghan army and police but also the civilian step of afghan an international who have been doing critical work with international agencies and non-
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governmental agencies on behalf of the people of that can stand. let us remember in particular those who gave their lives, making the ultimate sacrifice for the security and stability of the afghanistan and for the protection of the security of people in all our countries. all around the world, thousands of men and women of all religions, including thousands of the moslem faith have been murdered by al qaeda tax. today, our message to al qaeda must be clear -- it is the same message we sent to all those who pursue violence and extremist ideology is that pervert the true islamic faith. we will defeat new and we will defeat you not just on the battlefield but in the hearts and minds of the peoples of this world and particularly people in afghanistan. we will defeat you in any and every country where you seek refuge. today, this conference shows
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that the people of the world speak as one. we are united and resolute and we will win the fight against global terrorism. united in supporting the government of afghanistan to deliver peace and security for its people and united in our determination and resolve to do what is right to support all those determined to build a more secure, more prosperous life, free of terrorism. thank you all very much. [applause] [applause]
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>> we face a long and complex process of recovery and institution building. it must encompass the full range of stakeholders. we must strengthen governments.
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we must respect the human rights and meet the patient's -- meet the needs of the afghan people. we need an environment where corruption cannot thrive. we must see corruption for what it is. an assault on the integrity of the state and people's well- being. afghans have suffered far too long. if we are to achieve a stable and secure afghanistan, this must be remedied. starting with the electoral process. let me turn now to how the
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international community can better respond to afghanistan's needs. to train at the afghan security forces so that they can take on this essential responsibility. the single biggest impediment to progress remains in security. no one is exempt from the violence. last year, three times as many civilian deaths were attributed to anti-government. we must stress that without exception, must protect and not harm the civilian population.
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i urge all parties to uphold international human rights. moreover, we must recognize that while security is important in the transition strategy, it must not be the main and only focus. we need a coherent political strategy. not as an add-on to the immediate strategy, but part as a balanced military and civilian approach. in his speech last november, president karzai outlined the government's priorities for reform. they reflect the key issues reflecting the society -- affecting the society today. the need to expand -- to tackle
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drug trafficking. the new government performance in pursuing these objectives should be measurable and accountable to the afghan people. the afghan people also need to hear it loud and clear international community's longtime commitment to the government reform agenda. these relationships must be belts -- must be built on city transport responsibilities. they need to stand at the center of our activities and objectives. to accomplish this, the afghan government and people must take
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the lead in determining how to translate commitment into reality. the joint coordination and monetary board took encouraging steps in different directions at this meeting last week in kabul. they discussed economic development, reintegration, and expanding the afghan nation security forces. these and other steps can lead the way and contribute to the success of the international event in kabul in the spring. ladies and gentlemen, despite the increasingly complex situation, the united -- the united states assisted -- the united nations assistance mission, -- under the leadership
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of my special representative for afghanistan. the past year has increased our need to reinforce this coordination and strengthen with afghans. let me stress that coordination is a shared responsibility. we must be ready to collaborate to meet the principal requirements of building sustainable institutions. their efforts must be aligned as guided by a afghan priority. these are no easy solutions or quick fixes. yet, the resources and -- being demonstrated at this conference are a good sign. we will continue to stand with
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afghan people in building peace. to all of you in a staff -- to all of the united nations staff, let me extend my regards. not once have my brave colleagues wavered in their commitment to to supporting the afghan people. as we look ahead to 2010, i would like to take this opportunity to can firm that i am appointing him to succeed as my special representative to afghanistan. i would like to express my sincere appreciation for his work. he has provided outstanding leadership over the past two years during a particularly critical period. all of -- none of my special
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representatives has an easy job. he came to afghanistan at a crucial moment and. he had to shake the international agenda in afghanistan. he is a major voice of the united nations. we all -- we are all extremely grateful to you. he brings to the job great skill and a wealth of experience. i trust you will give him your full support as we walked together toward our common objectives, peace, stability, and prosperity for the people of afghanistan. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much.
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i am delighted to introduce president karzai to deliver his keynote address. [applause] >> thank you very much. honorable prime minister gordon brown, your excellency, honorable ministers, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen -- i am delighted to be addressing this conference that once again brings together the friends and supporters of afghanistan. my compatriots and i are deeply grateful to the international community for their attention
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and support to that we have received during the past several years. i want to take this opportunity to express my very special thanks and gratitude to gordon brown for his gracious to host this timely conference, offering to renew our commitment to be cause of peace. this conference offers us the opportunity to discuss the way forward. it ensures peace and stability in afghanistan and the surrounding region. today, i will not talk about our collective achievement, which have been considerable and numerous over the past several years. i would rather contemplate a few of the issues that are
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presently of great significance to the people of afghanistan as well as to the international community engaged in afghanistan. however, let me remind us all that the successes of the past eight years would not have been possible without great sacrifices brought forth by the afghan people and the men and women of the partnered countries, both military and civilian. the people of afghanistan will not forget these sacrifices. the memory of the afghan troops who have lost their lives while fighting terrorism will always remain in our hearts. we pray for them and send our greatest condolences to their families and friends. ladies and gentlemen, we all recognize the urgency of improving security in afghanistan. we should also recognize is that
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the goal of improving security cannot be achieved without mutual efforts. insecurity in afghanistan is tied to circumstances that exist beyond our borders. the security in afghanistan need a broader, more comprehensive approach to more security in the region and the causes that give rise to in security. developing such a broad approach to security will require cooperation among the countries of the region. well afghanistan is moving slowly, but surely, toward the end goals of peace and civility, the success of our efforts will depend on building the confidence of the afghan people. to win afghans confidence, we
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need to focus on bringing security to the daily lives. provide them with the need for -- need of protection, justice, employment. to make our joint effort successful, we must base our plans and actions on the demand and the aspirations of the afghan people. i believe that they -- that it can be summarized in four simple words. afghan leadership, afghan ownership. we will take solid strides toward ownership of the security and development. to achieve this noble goal, we should work and make progress along the following six.
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framework. -- six-point framework. >> the first is peace and reintegration. moving towards peace and reintegration is what afghans agree on. we must reach out to all of our countrymen, especially our disenfranchised -- disenchanted. they are not part of al qaeda or other terrorist networks. to do this, we will establish a national council for peace and we conservation. and reintegration. followed by -- to make a program a success, we hope that his majesty will kindly play --
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control to assist the peace process. we asked all our nature -- neighbors, especially pakistan, to support our peace. we're looking forward to the international community supporting this plan of action. i concur with the decision of the united nations to remove the names of some taliban from the consolidated list. we wish for more progress in this regard. we will pursue our peace and goals as we have been committed to the principles of the rights of all afghan men and women. second, security -- security remains our highest priority for years to come. with the help of our partners and neighbors, we will continue to take every step needed to achieve this novel goal.
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i welcome the support of the united states and other partners, the capability and strength of the afghan security forces. during the next two to four years, -- this will allow our international partners out of the parts secured by our own forces. while refocusing their efforts on civilian pagination, economic development, and the rebuilding of afghanistan. we will spare no effort and sacrifice to leave the security within our country through the next five years all over afghanistan. les and gentlemen, regrettably, civilian casualties' continue
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to be a great concern. we should put the protection of people's lives and property at the top of our agenda. we should do our best to minimize the need for nightly raids. such raids may take place only under special circumstances. the afghan people demand that such operations can are conducted by afghan forces. we must ensure -- this cannot be achieved by contractors and firms. national sovereignty also requires commitment to justice. afghanistan wants to work with
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the united states and with nato to take charge of all of the detention centers in afghanistan. we will create a commission to review all the tensions. this will be facilitated during the coming months. third, development is at the top of our action plan. we need to strengthen the leadership management and oversight capabilities of our civil service and our democratic institutions. we should streamline and rationalize our rules to regulations and procedures so that the government can work smoothly, free of corruption. afghanistan requires the consolidation of good governments across districts, municipalities, provinces.
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there is no constitutional impediment to the dallas -- to the delegation of decision making to lower level -- however, creating structures and bypassing the centers will have perverse implications. reviving and strengthening our traditional institutions of cooperation and resolution at the local levels can go a long way in improving people's lives. strengthening our traditional will promote help the communities, engaging our elders at all societal levels. empowerment of local council makes the development projects more demand oriented and cost- effective. our approach to good development is expanding the reach to the modest parts of the country as
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well as building up systems of development from the village, to the center. we expect the international community to support us in these vital endeavors. we are looking forward to fair parliamentary elections in the month of september. these elections will provide the people of afghanistan to exercise their right to vote. elect their leaders and move forward down the road of democracy. we expect the afghan election commission to work with the united nations and the civil society to inshore the elections and preventive -- in short gilt -- insure the elections. we hope that international assistance to our parliamentary elections will be impartial,
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technical, and constructive. fight against corruption. there is no doubt that good functioning institutions are the foundations on which peaceful, help the society operates. this has meant that public demand were clearly heard and addressed. we're committed to working with these and other institutional of a young democracy to strengthen transparency and accountability in the system. fighting corruption will be the key focus of my second term in office. we're committed to fighting corruption with all means possible. punishing those who commit its and rewarding those who avoid it. nevertheless, we must make sure that we do not stop at fighting symptoms of corruption.
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rather, we must take sizable action against its root causes. we need to further strengthen the high office, providing it with better capacity. will regularly implement the anti-corruption strategy and provide new powers to the high office to an oversight authority. we are determined to put an end to to impunity as we move along the path of democracy. we will stridently follow -- we will protect those who assist in implementing the law. economic development -- this will be key and priority of the government during the coming years. it will provide an environment for investment, promote sustainable economic growth,
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create more jobs in public and private sectors. these are the major goals for this year and beyond. an integrated plan of development under the direction of the afghan national development strategy has a foundation for activities will be presented soon. for the foreseeable future, afghanistan will continue to assist on a long-term investment, leadership, and coordination are needed to deliver the development. more effective, demand driven technical assistance will better serve our common goals. our supporters should focus their development efforts on education and help, building -- improving agricultural productivity and providing and expanding -- these are among the
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top priorities. the government is taking significant steps toward delivering reforms to raise more revenue, public enterprise, create competitio. n. large security costs of development and unacceptably high profits played reconstruction contracts. instead of relying on the ineffective aid groups, there are more efficient forces needed to support afghan parties and address afghan needs through direct budget support.
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we call upon the community to take concrete steps toward implementation of the agreement. will work hard to transform the afghan private sector into a real engine of growth during the next five years. ladies and gentlemen, a unified predictable aid mechanism would rules for effectiveness would be an enormous positive impact on development and reduction of priorities in afghanistan. reasonable cooperation would be a major pillar of our efforts toward peace and civilization in afghanistan. economic operation, cooperation in transit, fighting terrorism, weapons smuggling, housing
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modern security. afghanistan has participated in many regional operations and indicated a commitment. to cooperate on all these fronts. we are eager to seek more tangible results as far as progress in these areas. i believe we had a strong and adequate reasonable platform that promotes cooperation among our neighbors. it can be used to establish direct links between the key regional forums. this will provide a new window of opportunity for wider cooperation to combat the spread of terrorism and narcotics. it will promote durable peace and economic cooperation in the region.
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i am thankful to our brother country the republic of turkey for its efforts for our -- eight years ago, afghanistan and the international committee began their journey to help afghanistan re-establishing itself as a peaceful and contributing member of the community of nations. given the enormous challenges, completing this attorney successfully must remain at the highest international priority. peace and security in the world is inexplicably linked to peace and stability in afghanistan.
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to ensure momentum of our efforts, i invite our friends and partners to participate in the conference next spring. i would like to thank all countries to have contributed to afghanistan in the past. with the taxpayers' money, with the lives of their men and women in service, civilian and military, and those countries, friends of ours, a who have made contributions to afghanistan in the last few days and will be making some today. the afghan people assure you of our commitment and hard work toward reaching our shared a vision. thank you, mr. prime minister. thank you, participants, for attending today's gathering. i'm sure this will be another important meeting for taking
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afghanistan further. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much, mr. president. i will be joined on the platform by my cochairs. i would like to thank them very, very much for their contributions. >> you've been watching the opening remarks from today's conference in london on afghanistan. following the meeting, u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton took questions from reporters for about 20 minutes. >> we have seen the results of cooperation in the international community on a number of very important issues. i want to thank prime minister brown and foreign secretary, the
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government of afghanistan and the united nations for bringing us all together and sponsoring this important meeting i think that what we have seen is a global challenge that is being met with a global response. i especially thank the countries that committed additional troops, leading with our host country the united kingdom, but including romania, germany, italy. we also are grateful to those who made their contributions known today. there are other countries, such as russia, who are providing airspace rights and transit assistance. as important as our military mission is, we know that force alone cannot achieve our goals. last week, are released the u.s. afghanistan and pakistan
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regional stabilization strategy. its goal is to support afghan, -- afghan-led efforts to transform and strength than their own society and insure their own security. as we heard a lot today, starting with prime minister brown and president karzai and many others, the goal is to have an afghan-led an afghan-owned strategy and we are seeing that translated into reality every day. president karzai laid out an ambitious agenda for reform at his inauguration last year. there has been a number of plans put forth and afghanistan has moved forward on preparation for a conditions based transition to take responsibility for its own security and an agenda for development in a government which is critical to the future.
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among the decisions made today it was to establish a peace and reintegration of trust fund, to support the afghanistan -- government of afghanistan's efforts to draw disaffected taliban into society so long as they renounce violence. so long as the agree to abide by the laws and constitution of afghanistan. japan has shown an extraordinary commitment with its announcement of $50 million for the fund. in parallel, the united states military has been authorized to use substantial funds to support the efforts, enabling our commanders on the ground to support the afghan government- led initiative to take insurgents off of the battlefield. we have agreed to support nato's plan to work with the afghan government.
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as president obama has made clear, our efforts will allow us to begin to transition our own troops out of afghanistan in july of the 2011. as i said this morning, i would underscore this afternoon, this is not an exit strategy. it is about assisting in partnering with the afghans. the kinds of reforms that president karzai and the afghan government have announced are important. we're going to watch them carefully and make clear our expectations that they be fulfilled. among them are their efforts to combat corruption, provide more public services to people, effectively manage international aid. we also had three constructive conversations last night at dinner and at breakfast this
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morning and during the conference about how the international community can support these reforms more effectively, including significant progress toward afghanistan benchmark for debt relief from the paris club and international financial institutions. i also believe very strongly, as is apparent in what i say about this issue, that women have to be involved at every step of the way in this process. to that end, i unveiled our women's action plan. it includes initiatives focused on women security, women's leadership in the public and private sector, women's access to judicial institutions, education, and health services, women's ability to take a band of economic opportunities, especially in the agricultural sector. this is a comprehensive agenda that stands in stark contrast to
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al qaeda's recently announced agenda. the agreement reached today brings us closer to a goal of a stable afghanistan and advances our efforts to combat the violent extremist who threaten all of our citizens. in addition to this important work on afghanistan, i had the opportunity to meet one on one with a number of my counterparts on the sidelines of this meeting. we discussed a wide range of common concerns, including relief efforts in haiti. i think the british government for its significant -- i think -- i thank the british government. i also discussed iran refusal to engage in the international community. they continue to violate
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requirements. we were disappointed by the iranian government by the rejection of an offer that would have built confidence by trading their stockpile of uranium for reactor fuel to meet the legitimate medical needs of the iranian people. the revelation of iran's secret nuclear facility has raised further questions about their intentions. in response to these questions, the government has provided a continuous stream of threats to intensify its violation of international nuclear norms. their approach leaves us with little choice but to work with our partners to apply greater pressure in the hopes that it will cause iran to reconsider its rejection of diplomatic efforts with respect to its nuclear ambitions. tomorrow, i will travel on to paris where i will continue many of these discussions.
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i look forward to our close consultation with respect to the challenges facing us and i am delighted that we had an opportunity to get a lot of work done on many matters in one place, a particularly favored place of mine. i think the british government for their partnership and hospitality. i would be glad to take your questions. >> i would like to ask about the general tenor of the conference. it seems to be changing the pace of what has been going on in afghanistan and to some extent, looking towards the time when the troops can leave. a time scale has been mentioned this morning by president karzai of around 15 years. i wondered whether you thought that was a practical time limit
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to start pulling its troops out into have the taliban laid down their arms. >> i do not think that is what president karzai men to -- men to -- meant. we have increased the numbers of our military forces. there'll be more to come. the united states has added 30,000. other international partners have added 9000. we have up the tempo of our military engagement and we are beginning to see evidence of reversing the momentum -- momentum of the taliban. that is all to the good. it is absolutely necessary in order to provide the conditions for stability and security, but it is not sufficient to provide the political environment in which a lasting peace could be negotiated. therefore, as you heard today,
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we will be pursuing the military action, going very aggressively against the taliban and those who are trying to kill our soldiers and civilians and wreak havoc in afghanistan. at the same time, creating an opportunity for taliban hutus to leave the battlefield, renounce violence, renowned al qaeda, agree to abide by the laws and constitution of afghanistan, to re-enter society. it is our working assumption that we can make gains on both of these tracks over the next few years and that we can begin to transition security to the afghan security forces on a timetable that is conditions based, but which begins to have
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the afghan security forces assume greater and greater responsibility, province by province, beginning this year. july of 2011 will mark a point transition for american troops as we take stock of where we have come with their security efforts and we expect that there will be a portion of the country that will be under afghan control and we will move forward to transition out our forces as they are replaced by trained and qualified afghan forces. i think what president karzai was referring to and i have spoken to him about this personally on several occasions is that our military presence may continue as it does in many countries, providing training,
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logistics, intelligence. but our combat role will diminish and transition out. that is as it should be. there was a very significant event a few weeks ago with the multiply timed suicide attacks in kabul. it was handled well by the afghans themselves. there were no international troops involved. the assessment by our commanders, american and nato, was that the afghan forces performed commendably. we have seen an increase in the recruitment of the young man in joining the afghan security forces in the last two months. we have seen an improvement in retention. we have increased the pay, something that was quite noticeably lacking since the taliban paid more than the
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afghan security forces or police paid. i mention all of that to create the context that we see this as an evolving process where we are creating the conditions for afghanistan to assume responsibility for its own security, which will ban permanent -- which will then it permits the transfer out of international combat forces. there will likely to be continuing military aid and advice from international partners beyond the combat mission. >> the next question -- >> madam secretary, i would like to ask you a little bit about this reintegration and reconciliation process. the afghan government has invited the taliban to take part of the merger. i would like to ask, does the u.s. specifically support to the invitation and do you think that the invitation could or
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should include top taliban leadership as long as they renounce ties to al qaeda? does the u.s. have any plans to contribute funds be on the military funds to the reintegration find that the japanese are helping to establish? more broadly, do you feel that this reconciliation process represents the first point in a real road map toward ending the conflict in afghanistan? >> i think that the starting premise is that you do not make peace with your friends. you have to be willing to engage with your enemies if you expect to creates a situation that ends an insurgency or so marginalizes
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the remaining insurgents that it does not pose a threat to the stability and security of the people. the president karzai announced that he would be holding a traditional afghan mechanism for trying to reconcile competing views and reach decisions to take, it was natural for him to say, if you are going to have eight meeting, people who are already not in agreement with you might actually come. we have a very clear understanding of what we expect from this process. we expect that a lot of the foot soldiers on the battlefield will be leaving the taliban because many of them have wanted to leave. many of them are tired of fighting. we believe the tide is beginning to turn again for them. we need incentives in order to
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both protect them and provide alternatives to them to replace the payment they receive it -- as taliban fighters. this is similar to what the american military did in iraq. as it became clear that a number of the rockies -- iraquis were tired of the barbarism of al qaeda, when they began to seek potential are to artists -- alternatives available to them, they began to talk to our military personnel about changing allegiance and becoming part of the forces fighting against the terrorists. we have some experience in this now. some of the same people, including a british general who was active in this area in iraq, are advising general mcchrystal.
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we have already seen some examples -- there is an example in one of the american papers today talking about a whole tribe of pashtuns who want to fight the taliban. you have got to realize the circumstances. there was a tried in a village in pakistan and they decided to fight the taliban and they were targeted with these brutal suicide bombings, killing more than 100 people. in order to make good on the offer of an alternative that can create the conditions for peace, you have to be prepared to help fund it and to provide protection for people. that is part of the planning. we do not have any plans to add money to the reintegration fund because, as i said, we have a significant amount of money that is being used for the same
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purposes and this is an international efforts and a number of international partners have signed up and made commitments to the reintegration fund. they will be working in the same arena with the same purpose. >> our last question is from bloomberg news. >> madam secretary, what did you hear from chinese foreign minister that assures you that china is ready to support a new u.n. security council? what was his response to your call for an investigation of chinese hacking against google and other u.s. companies in your concerns about internet censorship in china? lastly, what would you say to business leaders who say that chinese internet censorship is very limited? >> on iran, we had a very
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productive conversation with foreign minister. they're part of the process, as you know. that process has been unified and we hope it continues to move forward on that same track to work together to change the strategic calculus of the iranian leadership with respect to its nuclear program. we shared some of our thoughts with our chinese counterparts. we also set up some additional opportunities for expert consultation. we made it clear to everyone with whom i spoke today and yesterday that our efforts to apply pressure on iran are not meant to punish the iranian people. they're meant to change the
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approach that the iranian government has taken toward its nuclear program. we made that clear when they agreed on a common plan to offer to run the opportunity to ship out and have it reprocessed for their research reactor, which they have thus far refused to accept. china is very much engaged. they're a very -- they are a very active member. we are continuing to work together. i am not going to preview what our plans are, but i think we had a very constructive conversation. i raise the issue, as you would have expected i did, on the google and internet freedoms front. china has its approach.
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obviously, they feel strongly that they are much more open than perhaps they are getting credit for. we expressed our concerns that we do not want to create a series of actions that in any way hinges -- in pages on the freedom and utility of the internet. it was a very open, candid conversation. we will continue to discuss this matter in the context of our ongoing dialogue. as you can tell from the quotes you referred to from bill gates, different people have different responses or impressions. the overall issue is making sure that no one uses the internet for purposes of censorship or repression.
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we had a very positive exchange on this issue with the chinese today. you've been very patient. it let the end by asking these four women from afghanistan to stand up. will you stand up? they are among the women who have been working in afghanistan for the last years on behalf of expanding opportunities for women and protecting human 9h some of the afghan women who were here for the conference today in the past and they are very much committed to their country's future, but they are also very committed to making sure that women in afghanistan play their rightful role in that country's future and i just wanted to thank them for being here and speaking out. thank you very much.
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[applause] >> the u.s. senate is taking a final vote right now on federal reserve chairman ben bernanke for a second term. senators also approved raising a federal -- senators added an amendment to require most new mandatory spending or tax cuts enacted in a year to be offset by spending reductions or tax increases. the measure now goes to the house. the house is not in session. republicans are attending their annual legislative retreat in baltimore. president obama is scheduled to visit that republican meeting tomorrow. next month marks one year since congress passed the economic stimulus money. of the money approved, just under $330 billion has been committed. to learn more on this project,
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but to >> this weekend, how the growth of the muslim middle class could end religious extremism. the political cartoons of dr. seuss. also, president of foreign policy going back to the nixon administration. find the entire weekend special -- schedule on our website. >> this morning, the senate foreign relations committee heard about haiti earthquake relief efforts. witnesses included u.n. deputy special envoy for haiti paul farmer and former -- and james dobbins. john kerry of massachusetts chaired this hearing.
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five boats had been scheduled starting at 10:30. -- five votes have been scheduled starting at 10:30. i appreciate everybody's ability to move this and advanced it and i think what we will try to do is compressed the hearing. we have until about 10:45 or so and that ought to give us an opportunity to be able to get through both the testimony and the questions adequately. i wish we were not pressed, but the reality is that we are. needless to say, 80 is reeling
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-- 80 -- haiti is reeling in the worst catastrophe that the americans have ever seen. well over 100,000 dead and more dying every day. an estimated 1 million haitians are displaced. large parts of port-au-prince and several cities are flattened. already weakened infrastructure is basically collapsed. the numbers simply do not explain the horrors that millions of patients are living through. -- patients are living through. as we begin to understand the tragedy through stories and images, they probably better tell us what this is like. a tent city next to a crumbled presidential palace. a child dividing one rationed meal among eight members of his family.
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a 70 year-old woman rescued from the cathedral in port-au-prince seven days after the earthquake, too weak to stand, but strong enough to sing church hymns as she was carried out on a stretcher. only just this morning, the photographs of a young 15 year- old girl being pulled out just a little more than two weeks after the earthquake. . .
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we must do what we can to help. there has been a tremendous outpouring of generosity from americans and from the international community. people have opened their wallets and their homes and have been working closely with dozens of families and we have been working very closely with dozens of families in massachusetts to expedite the adoption of haitian orphans that were already under way before the or earthquake. we're also making sure that they have relief effort for the thousands of haitian children who were orphaned or displaced by the earthquake.
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i want to commend dr. shaw, secretary clinton, and countless other americans inside americ government for their efforts that all this could be proud of. i would like to commend victoria belonged. the u.s. has made a massive contribution in haiti over the years. when the earthquake struck, they lost many of sending people on the ground. we are -- we offer our profound gratitude and condolences to the un and to the families of the deceased. we have also felt the tragedy personally in massachusetts. i know personally the agony of her parents, first and try to find out what her fate might be, but now trying to recover her body. the task before all of us
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remains far from over. first, we must continue the enormous ongoing effort to meet their immediate need for food, water, shelter, electricity, and emergency medical care. so far, thank you to un peacekeepers and u.s. forces, these efforts have proceeded. second, we need to use this humanitarian crisis to begin reversing the party and environmental degradation that plagued haiti long before this tragedy. we cannot be satisfied by simply restoring haiti's to the unsustainable conditions of the past. on january 11, it was already the poorest country in the western hemisphere. before the quake, there were 380,000 orphans in haiti. most orphans live on less than $1 a day. many children died before their fifth birthday.
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120 cells in -- 120,000 haitians are hiv-positive. we need to help nations build a sustainable foundation for a stronger and more stable society. this is a chance for haitians to real imagine their country as they rebuild it. we must use every opportunity to help haiti improve its living standards. it has a duty-free and quota- free access to the market. haiti was actually making steps toward recovery when the earthquake struck. a violent crime was declining. haiti's progress will be more sustainable as government takes a serious look at long-term challenges. third, haiti's recovery must
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belong to the haitian people. they may need your help today, but they must be empowered to build their own future down the road. the president and the prime minister need to lead the national recovery in civil society and democratic institutions must be protected and nurtured. their long-term success depends on a government that can inspire its people, work with the private sector, attract investment, and marshal resources to provide basic services, security, and rule of law. some have said that haiti is a lost cause. based on all i know of the haitian people, and i have learned a lot more in recent days, i could not disagree more. even in the darkest hours after the earthquake, haitians who were reported begin with and then lost everything -- who were poor to begin with and then lost everything provided shelter for
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strangers. it is the haitians determination and decency in the face of disaster that will make the country's future. schools may have collapsed, but haitian commitment to education will not. they were urged to stand up again and move forward. as they do, america will be there to help. we are fortunate to have with us today three very impressive witness is with deep knowledge of haiti and the challenge that we and the haitian people face. paul former is the un deputy special envoy to haiti. i am proud to call him a friend. the has been a valuable source of information. james dobbins is no stranger to
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this committee. he is the director of international security and defense policy at granrand. finally, dr. rene francois can speak directly to the enormous public health challenges that haiti faces. he is the incoming public director of health for the state of georgia. we welcome all of you and thank you for being here today. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to thank you again for calling this important hearing on the rescue recovery and the longer-term reconstruction efforts in haiti. in marriage -- an unimaginable devastation going on since january 12, 2010 is, as you pointed out, one of the worst natural disasters to confront the western hemisphere in modern history. nearly 3 million people have been affected.
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more than 155th -- more than 150,000 people may have paris. -- more than 150,000 people may have perished. the social instability in haiti represents a critical concern for the dominican republic and could have far-reaching evocations of deteriorating conditions and produce a mass exodus of haitians by land and sea. immediate action by the united states to provide emergency assistance to haiti what was clearly warranted. the heroic efforts of the first sponsor -- a first responders are truly inspiring. i commend those who have worked to advance policies and legislation that would hasten haiti's recovery. last week, are called on the
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secretary of homeland security to grant 18 months of the dictionary status for haitian immigrants already residing in our country and to provide decent parole for orphans in adoption proceedings with american parents. this will insure that many will marble children are united with loving families and -- this will insure that many vulnerable children are united with loving families. a senior economist at the world bank has projected that the temporary protective status could generate an additional $360 million in remittances sent to haiti in 2010. that is on top of the more than $1 billion transferred each year since the year 2006. i am working with senator dodd on a bill that will encourage the imf to provide debt relief to haiti and ensure that their
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gold sales surpluses are used for low income countries, including haiti. there will also explore ways to -- despite strong support from the united states, sustained international participation in haiti is vital for its recovery. it is important that the international committee provide government assistance to the haitian people. the limitations of the current government constrain the prospects for recovery. these harsh reality is compounded by the significant loss of life has weakened the government and other institutions in haiti and compel the international community to consider creative measures. because of the devastation,
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haiti's condition is that of a failed state. we should consider it an advanced goal for the united nations to aid in operations of the country until it is stable. this would include the provision of food and shelter, reconstruction activity, budgetary affairs, security, and other aspects of governance of vital to the haitian people. the united nations has the credibility and capacity to perform that role. the relationship between the united nations and the haitian government should be a consensual, cooperative arrangement that preserves haitian press is a patient and decisions while ensuring that the resources, expertise of the international community are brought to bear on the daily problems of haiti. the u.n. plays an increased security and recovery role and will believe that the haitians will quickly gather their bearings and begin to rebuild
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their lives and their country. a top priority must be developing and implementing a plan to resettle temporarily the millions of internally displaced people for whom port-au-prince has little to offer. adequate food, water, and shelter must be delivered in earnest in these resettlement areas. i will also encourage the obama administration to courted american volunteers into hometown associations, small groups of volunteers in the united states who are linked with their former home town that institutions in haiti. members can serve as interpreters for temporary refugees and provide assistance to haitians who were evacuated to the united states for medical treatment that was not available on the island. the haitian-american community is eager to be involved in the recovery of haiti. a much greater coordination is required to put their skills to full use.
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our government should explore ways to partner with ngo with an existing social networking platform to assist in coordination. they will increase our ability to flow with a $1 billion remaining from the united states. i look forward to the insides of their very distinguished panel of witnesses. i thank you, mr. chairman pierre >> thank you, senator lugar. -- i thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator lugar. again, i am delighted to welcome all the members of our panel. dr. former, we have so much admiration for all the work you're doing and that all of you
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have contributed in the style of in haiti. we look for to your testimony this morning. -- we look forward to your testimony this morning. >> i am happy to be back here and to testify. as you mentioned, as the un special deputy on boy and secretary -- as the un special debt be on avoienvoy, my hope ts to do justice, not by chronicling the events of the last two weeks, but by testing to the possibility of the hope for the country and of the importance of meaningful investment and sustainable development in haiti. i will not pretend that hope is not at times difficult to muster. as i was coming here into this city, i asked my colleagues,
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including dr. kary, what would it be like to look around you and see every federal building collapsed, the white house, the dirksen building, all of them. that is what we have seen in haiti. as i was flying from port-au- prince to montreal, heading to a conference, i did the painful mouth and my head and could not put together the 50 colleagues, friends, and family members who have lost their lives in the space of a minute. the afternoon of the earthquake, several of my colleagues were ironically in port-au-prince for a meeting about disaster risk reduction. they provide health care to the rural poor. it would be by focusing, training, and employing local talent. we have grown a great deal over the years. we're currently serving a population of 1.2 million and
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count 5000 employees, most of them community health workers. of course, not all of our colleagues survived. the vast majority of our colleagues did survive and have spent the last two weeks working day and night to relieve the staggering suffering of the wounded in this place. president clinton, our college, and i have been in the city'iesn a. -- in haiti. everywhere, we have seen acts of solidarity. i would like to know for the record that the dignity and patience of the long-suffering haitian people. during a visit of the largest teaching hospital that has the ruins of the nursing and medical schools, president clinton remarked that nobody else in the world would be so patient and calm in the face of so much
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suffering. this must not be understood. people in haiti are afraid, not only for their options and futures, but quite simply for their safety. a few nights ago, we sat in the medical wards, hearing of impending aftershocks. patients have refused to sleep inside the building, in the building, instead finding problems in sheets and lay down in the open courtyard near the hospital. this has reported itself throughout the country and has logistical problems in the provision of shelter, clean water, and health care. the relief efforts focused on addressing the initial wave of devastation in the earthquake and will soon turn to a new set of concerns. hastily cobbled together camps are at risk about bricks of cholera and other water-borne
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disease. the government has widely proposed avoiding huge camps which would be difficult to manage. we must hasten their efforts to get tarpaulin shelters and latrines. it is difficult to see the offer to be so slow. the delivery of services was a week before the quake. now we must do much more to get people food and water every day, trading save schools and save hospitals, even makeshift ones, and storm resistant housing must also be a carefully considered priority since there is little time before the preseason. students need to be back in school. the planting season cannot be missed and requires fertilizer, seed, and the tools. how will we find such settlements, ongoing relief, the selling of seats, the reconstruction that must follow?
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major pledges have been made by the united states, canada, japan, spain, brazil, the european union, the world bank, and others. indeed, most countries have responded to haiti's plight, even in faraway rwanda, where workers who make less than $200 a month, have pulled together $7,000 in donations for their colleagues in haiti. it is an eloquent testimony in human solidarity. i will make two points, mr. chairman. even if, even when such resources are available, the task before us will be extremely difficult. medical jargon can be helpful here. today, haiti is facing what we would determine medicine and acute on chronic problem. before january 12, the country was already facing long-term
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challenges in public health and education and an unemployment rate of more than 70% and the majority of its population living on $2 a day. food, water, and security were already large problems. does this contrast of the present a chance for all of us to have a more sound, more solidarity-based relationship with 80 or is it yet to be another chapter in -- with haiti or is it to be yet another chapter in struggles with power? i struggle with the latter possibility likely given their policies of the time. i would like to conclude that we are opening up for a different way to interact with haiti. let me say that i have in my life attended only two donor conference is about haiti. the last one was in montreal.
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i just came from port-au-prince to montreal to hear. the first one was in washington less than a year ago. the results are noteworthy and worrisome. despite 400 two million dollars pledged for the economic recovery -- despite the 400 two million dollars pledge for the economic recovery -- $402 million pledged for the economic recovery after the hurricanes, 85% of the pledges made a year ago are and dispersed. we worry that, if the past is prologue, and he will be to blame. there are flaws in the a machinery and this has contributed to the problems on the ground. the aid of machinery keeps too
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much for overhead for its operations and still realize too much on ngo's or contractors who do not observe the ground rules. we wouldthe fact that there aree ngo's per capita in haiti than in any other country in this hemisphere is in part a reflection of need, but also in part a reflection of overreliance on ngo's quite divorced from public health and public education sectors. haiti will need the contractors and mission groups and ngo's. but we will need to create new ground rules, including a demand to create local jobs for haitians and ellen building an infrastructure that is crucial to creating -- and include building an infrastructure that is crucial to creating the
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ability to build back better that strengthens the governance and the economy to provide for the needs of its people, especially the vast majority of haitians who are desperately poor. there is an opportunity to build haiti back better, and to build a more functional and beneficial aid structure. u.s. aid policies have been between embargoes and efforts to bypass governments not to washington's tastes. they could help housing recovery fund. we need to commit funds and disperse them. haiti does not need a pledging session. it needs a bank account to fund its survival and reconstruction. it could be managed with partners such as the u.n., haitian leadership, and would work openly and directly with
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partners to design and implement a recovery plan coordinated at central and local levels. the effort must include a comprehensive post-disaster need assessment which should be supported by the united states and other partners. mike in such plans work? in some of the darkest moments of the last two weeks, when the incapacity of a lack of coordination of institutions on the ground were repeatedly revealed to me, i thought often of rwanda and what happened there in 1994. as a physician and teacher at harvard, i have been lucky to work with partners in health and the government of rwanda in helping to rebuild infrastructure in three of the last four districts that lack central hospitals. they are now all build. as in rural haiti, this has been a very positive experience. it has resulted in thousands of jobs for rwanda's and has created successful
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infrastructure, all with a modest price tag compared to traditional eight contractors. if such programs can be made in rwanda, which was the poorest country on the face of this earth, one hopes it can be made elsewhere. our mission must be to note that if there's any silver lining to this code is that we can push job creation. there is a strange irony of tha[unintelligible] there is the quite notion that people should be paid for their labor. let us be honest. it is absurd to argue that voluntarism and food for work programs will create sustainable jobs. if we've set the ground rules on reconstruction correctly, we will be able to create sustainable jobs. as a doctor, i can tell you that
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bad infrastructure and a faultless policy are visible in the bodies of the port as the benefits of good policy and will decide infrastructure. i have witnessed many political interventions in haiti and multiple coups. they have been pleasant and unpleasant, even if they pale in the shadow of what we are currently experiencing proof man. many say that haiti is hopeless. i say this is not true. we can achieve long-term benefits for haiti. putting haitians back to work and offering the dignity that comes with ofhaving a job is exactly what brought our country out of the great depression. thank you very much. >> thank you very much, dr. farmer. mr. dobbins.
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>> thank you. the history of prior american internationaand and internationl intervention in haiti, it has had many advantages, including some in which the state building process has yielded positive results. most of those sorts of states are surrounded by conflict- prone and predatory neighbors. in contrast, haiti exists in a zone of relative peace and prosperity. all of haiti's neighbors are much richer and none have any interest in destabilizing haiti or inhibiting its development. it is not divided by competing ethnic or religious groups. haitians have a strong sense of national identity andsectarian divide. it also has a large and relatively prosperous diaspora.
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many are located at no great distance and enjoy frequent contact with their families on island. they do have some inherited in damages. -- inherited advantages. there are three relatively new conditions that suggest that, this time around, we may do better than we have. first of all, the final departure of the president has diminished courts in regular in port-au-prince and in washington. when bill clinton and george w. bush are campaigning together and on, one may hope that the gn helping haiti has closed. second, this seems likelof likeo yield successful efforts. more money means more leverage
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to promote change. finally, the very immensity of the disaster has administered a shock to the haitian political structure that can help ease resistance to reform and undermine the longstanding barriers to progress within haiti. my own experience with haiti dates back to the american intervention of 1994. this was one of five such nation-building operations with which it became associated, including somalia earlier in the decade, and bosnia and kosovo. since leaving office, i have had an opportunity to reflect on that experience and a dozen or more un and other operations with which the united states was not closely associated. i would like to offer a number of proposed guidelines for assistance to haiti that is based on that broad experience of the last 60 years in these kinds of missions anin fragile
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states. first, in the absence of security, any positive changes will be washed away. the bad news is that an international security presence in haiti will be required for a long time. the good news is that haiti is not a particularly difficult societe to secure. the haitian population is neither heavily-armed nor inclined to violence. one is only to regard the patience with which the people of port-au-prince has waited over the last two weeks and recognize that itits peaceful n. american troops are unlikely to be required once the immediate emergency passes. i think the united nations should be able to secure haiti successfully with the- reinforcements that have already
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been authorized -- with the modest reinforcements that have already been authorized. we have a unique attribute to drawn. a number of haitian officers in places like miami and new york and elsewhere who can offer a valuable contribution to the u.n. police force can help to secure haiti. the second lesson drawn from these vast operations is that the stabilization and reconstruction efforts to take time. one operation was almost entirely successful in its own terms, but those terms were much too narrow. in watching the intervention, president clinton promised to restore a freely elected
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president and then, to keep american troops in haiti, only long enough to organize new elections and an agreed a new president. this is what the administration proceeded to do, hitting each benchmark and suffering almost no casualties. but two years was too short a time to fix a society as troubled as haiti. it accomplished little of lasting value. recent operations have lasted eight years to 10 years. the current operation began in 2004. i think it is -- i think, because of the earthquake, we have to turn the clock back to zero. the u.n. is probably going to be required in there for the next decade. programs need to be evaluated, not just on their potential to promote both and social justice, but on the capacity to ease
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tensions in society and promote reconciliation among longer- hostile groups. that means that progress in -- programs to relieve party and create jobs will be necessary for a larger aid effort. fourth, assistance should be focused on building more competent -- building a more competent and efficient state. hades vulnerability to natural disaster is not just a matter of weeks building codes, but the result of having a weak state. it cannot provide even minimal public services to the majority of its population. large amounts of american aid is going to flow into haiti and the temptation will be to spend most of it on american and foreign
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ngo's that can deliver essential services. but this sort of a lease no lasting local capacity to sustain those services -- but this sort of aid leaves no lasting local capacity to sustain those services. it needs to be directed on a priority basis toward enhancing hades capacity to govern itself. -- enhancing haiti's capacity to govern itself. fifth, haiti needs to be built from the bottom up. it is not as port-au-prince, but the rural populations. it is not just the government ministries in port-au-prince, but maintaining capacities at
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the local level and to promote the development of local leadership, local mayors, local councils, and provide them the wherewithal to assist their constituents. 6, the u.s. government needs to provide a sustained high intensity effort. the secretary of state should invest a single individual with the authority and responsibility for haiti, such as holbrooke does for afghanistan. it would be a single account unencumbered by earmarks and work through the consultancy of an oversight process to make sure that this money is carefully targeted and will spend. seventh, it is important that the international program for reform of haitian institutions
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not bear a made in washington in print. i think that the united states should work to establish conditions for assistance and to assist those conditions are met through institutions like the united nations and the world bank. we should help those institutions to target the reforms that are feasible and essential and to set the conditions which will use the leverage to that assistance provides to get those reforms effectuated. the u.s. should work quietly behind the scenes to use its political influence to make sure that the haitian institutions do adopt those reforms and embrace them. the u.s. should be contributing directly and substantially to both u.s. and world bank efforts. i would suggest that additional labor would be the united nations taking the lead.
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finally, there are a couple of things that the united states is uniquely positioned to do by reason of its proximity. these involve trade and immigration. this is a time limited access and i suggest that we set the clock back to zero and assume that that access begins as of today rather than as of when it actually went into effect. secondly, i do believe and suggest that the united states should consider a temporary increase in family unification immigration to the united states. haitian immigrants have proved to be exceptionally hard-working family-oriented, law-abiding
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contributors to our society, even if they are one of the largest sources of support for those who they leave behind in haiti. every dollar that they remit to haiti is another dollar the does not need to come from the u.s. taxpayer. thank you. >> thank you for your thoughtful suggestions. >> good morning. >> could you push the button on your microphone? >> good morning. my name is dr. rowling francoir. effective monday, i will be the director of public health for the state of georgia. i want to thank the committee for in the need to speak on the topic of haiti. my testimony will focus on the filing -- extent of the
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damages, immediate relief needs, some intermediate goals, long term path to recovery and development. the extent of the damages -- an earthquake the 7.0 magnitude is a challenge for any country. but when it occurs in one of the world's most fragile countries, its intensity seems potentiated as it finds a destructive and the sinister synergy in the vast landscape of feeble structures. the estimated mortality is about 200,000. there are about 4000 missing americans. the number of injured approaches 1 million. the number of people affected is approximately 3 million. the economic damage is difficult to quantify. my mother and father in law lost everything in haiti. fortunately, they were in the united states with me when the devastation occurred. immediate relief needs -- they need food and water, medical
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care, temporary shelters, security, and sanitation. in terms of that, the most will hon. groups are the newborn's and infants who record -- the required age-appropriate formula. many families to not have access to food and other basic goods. the escalation of frustration is already in use and violence. if resources are not more strategically distributed, the security situation on the ground could rapidly deteriorate. medical teams must also be vigilant infections, sepsis, respiratory infections, and typhoid -- thousands more could die if they are not monitored. intermediate goals -- in light of more than 50 aftershocks, a thorough assessment of the structural integrity of the remaining homes and buildings is critical for the future and safety of the population.
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my brother worked as an engineer in port-au-prince. building codes at that time did not exist. construction practices were geared to withstand hurricane wind forces, not earthquakes. in order to forecast rubble removal and disposal, it is important to look to the models and lessons learned after the september 11 destruction at the world trade center, after hurricane katrina's devastation of the gulf coast states. the lessons learned can be recycled. ensuring proper drainage of rain water would be a big undertaking.
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[unintelligible] the existing system was already obsolete and did not seem to rely on accurate data wit. it must be anticipated that the majority of the structures have sustained irreversible damage. the waterworks and sewer structures gauge against engineering standards were already inadequate. the source of water supply may be adjusted after the evaluation of the capacity, an inventory of other reserves through groundwater hydrology. long-term reconstruction and development -- decentralization
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away from port-au-prince must be a primary goal. this earthquake has already triggered an exodus of the population to various parts of haiti. in order for that migration to become permanent, investments must be made in agriculture, food security, local jobs, tourism, and infrastructure, security, roads, and airports. access to medical care must also be decentralized with a network of community health care centers across the country. public health must be the foundation of the new health system. improvements in literacy should also remain central to many development efforts. i would like to share with the committee a few of the recommendations of the heydey advisory group created by executive order on july 14, 2004 by governor of florida jeb bush.
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there were 25 recommendations to the governor. these prophetic recommendations included a wide range of problematic issues that fall in the following categories -- security recommendations, economic development, disaster preparedness, and environmental revitalization. i would propose that these recommendations be proposed by the united nations. examples include creation of a dedicated professional exchange in training program with the government of haiti, which would allow volunteers to travel to haiti to provide technical assistance and training. the objective would be to provide haitian participants with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to work more effectively in their respective fields. for example, he produces only about 80 positions each year.
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that number will decline since many medical schools were destroyed. how well students complete their studies? and how well students complete their studies? the international community should utilize great expertise and experience in law enforcement to assist the group and specialization of the haitian national police. the u.n. could sponsor a mission in which representatives from haitian businesses can travel abroad to meet their counterparts. promotion of investment in haiti and networking in export operations would be primary goals. the u.n. should begin now in tourism with its plan for a
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marketing campaign to attract visitors to their country as tourists in order to rediscover its natural beauty and historical attractions. haiti's ever structure is more of all hon. to other disaster, like mudslides and -- is more vulnerable to other disasters, like mudslides and floods. guest[unintelligible] in closing, i extend fervent prayers to all of those who were affected by the earthquake as well as to the first responders who came from near and far. i also want to of knowledge of the magnanimous generosities of
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those who have contributed to the relief efforts in haiti. as we move forward, the united states and the international community must assure that investments made in rebuilding haiti are actually carried out through community-based organizations, faith-based entities, non-governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations. my hope is that leaders will emerge from these ashes and leave haiti into a new path of prosperity through integrity, hard work, transparency, perseverance, and true democracy. thank you. >> thank you very much, dr. francois. thank you to all of you for laying out the magnitude of the challenge and putting a lot of ideas on the table of things we need to think about. in the timeframe we have, if we
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do seven-minute rounds, it every senator should have an opportunity to ask a question. we would ask you to keep the dancers tight. -- to achieve the answers tight. -- to keep the answers tight. on a personal note, dr. former, up -- dr. forarmer, i want to thank you. my daughter appreciates you with the magnetmagnitude with which e has been able to work with you. let me ask you very quickly, any of you, about an immediate challenge. there's a lot of concern of food access in haiti and whether
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adequate levels are being appropriately administrative . wfp has requested flooding food into the arena. i like to ask you about the adequacy of food. >> in the short term, it is difficult to think of an ultra be -- of an alternative to wfp. remittances, cash transfers to household, that will also help people to buy their own food. at the same time, the rules of the road, i would go back. how can we focus on local procurement of food stamps so that food security and haiti is
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not high andtened? we have the proper treatment, not surprisingly, formal nutrition for children. it is something called food. we grow peanuts, mostly, but it can be other grains as well. we make peanut butter, which is a readily accessible food. we have gotten wfp to support that. if we ramp up production of an endeavor like that in a moment like this, if we get the right kind of peanuts, multivitamins, and other things needed to enrich this paste, we will have done several things at once, responded to the kidney, which
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is extreme. it is very upsetting -- responding to the acute need, which is extreme. it is very upsetting. we will have bought from local farmers. we will have created jobs in processing plants. it is not unthinkable that a processing plant like that could be scaled up to respond to needs elsewhere, in other parts of the country, and other parts of the world. the rules of the road should still include what your plan is for local job creation. how can really care very needed short-term interventions to long-term i intervention? >> how do we get from here to there? it would be great to rebook the production and engage the local community. who is going to it -- it would be great to ramp up the production and engage the local community. who's going to do this?
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who is coordinating this overall effort? who's going to call the shots and say you have to get the debris out of here and here is where the debris is going to go and here is the rebuild? you begin to organize that. there are a lot of free actors floating around. can you speak to this question of who's going to both direct and enforce these rules of the road and how do we get the kind of coordination necessary to make sure that we're shifting to a haitian solution as fast as possible? >> i am sure that my colleagues have thoughts on this as well. i would say that the way we do this is to write it into the rules of the road as a condition for some of their raid. it would not be a condition on the recipients, but on the donor's. if you go from, say, the
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marshall plan to some of the legislation written by the senate. now, you see the rise -- the senate until now, you see the rise of certain actors. if we shifted the rules formally and say that this date is dependent on our reforming ourselves, in a way, part of it is really in your hands. i have been rising a little bit about this from haiti, the lack of coordination -- i have been writing a little bit about this from haiti, the lack of coordination. we could have a little bit more coordination. the u.s. centocor net along the lines of the health cluster -- the u.n. is trying to coordinate
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all the lines of the health cluster. on the district level, there are 10 districts in haiti, the departments as they're called. there needs to be a locally- driven process there. in 1995, when rwanda laid down law and said, it if you, as an indio, which to work here, you have to follow -- as an indio, wish to work here, you have to follow -- as an ngo, wish to work care, you have to follow these rules. in this case, part of it will be in your hands and part of it will be in the hands of the un and part of it will be in the
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hands of the haitian people. i think it is useful to make a distinction between the relief phase. something that did you produce something that the international community does well is disaster relief -- something that the international community does well is disaster relief. it looks messy, but they all show up and it works. it worked remarkably well. and it is working in haiti. that does not really require fixing. it requires resources, but people are generous and it is the best resource that the international community does. you have the question of moving beyond relief to recovery and driving that recovery toward institutional reforms that will make further or future relief operations less necessary. that does require more hierarchical course structure. i think the united states needs
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to help design such an effort and drive such an effort, but it should not excel the flag on which that effort is put. i think the u.n. needs to coordinate and become the fight in which political reform and were the securities sector takes place. the world bank is the right place to condition [unintelligible] >> i wanted to ask your comments about who is in charge and how government is to proceed by citing a very interesting poll that appeared in "the miami herald" this morning. haitian-americans are dissatisfied with response to the disaster.
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400 haitian americans, in a poll conducted in creole and english, 67 district -- 67% disagree on how the government has responded. the majority of haitian- americans support the united nations and the international community in taking over haiti's dated day operations. they recover from the catastrophe. -- day-to-day operations until they recover from the catastrophe. 96% approve of what we have been doing. two-thirds of haitian-americans are so concerned that they're willing to move back to haiti temporarily in order to assist reconstruction. i mention this as a basis. it is unprecedented that haitian-americans have beeapprod
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of the american response in the past. they point out that their president is not a good communicator. the fact remains that he is their leader and the haitian government needs to be reconstructed at some form, even if the may effectively, the united nations and the u.s. provide control to provide services. politically, what is going to occur? the common thought is that this has been a disaster. but it will remain a disaster. it will continue to be a disaster because they lack of political sophistication or abilities or rapport with the haitian people.
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here's a case where the american-haitians are saying that we are so concerned that we're prepared to move back in fairly large numbers for a while to bring some relief to the process. unlv have any thoughts about the government's question -- do any of you have any thoughts about the government'ance question? >> essentially, my thought is, again, about the analogy of how we respond to a tragedy or a hurricane here in the united states. whether it is in florida or louisiana, we may ask the federal government for help. likewise, haiti is in dire need of an international response. what is different is that the infrastructure and the

U.S. House of Representatives
CSPAN January 28, 2010 1:00pm-5:00pm EST


TOPIC FREQUENCY Haiti 88, Us 32, United States 21, America 21, U.s. 16, United Nations 15, Washington 11, Karzai 10, U.n. 10, Florida 10, Israel 9, Taliban 7, Port-au-prince 7, Clinton 6, China 6, Rwanda 6, Un 6, Obama 5, Iran 4, Kabul 4
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